For many of us in Hong Kong, it's not always easy to fit in our beauty sleep - those all-nighters (at work or play!), keeping up with the kids, that early con-call with the US...
So when we are finally able to get some shut-eye, we can only hope it's enough to wake up a bit more refreshed and ready to cope physically and emotionally with whatever the next day brings.
We all should know by now how important the quality of your sleep is for your overall health. The simple act of sleeping can have a profound impact on how you look, feel and function, along with your longer-term health:
- Deep sleep boosts your immune system, improves your cognition and short-term memory, enhances your moods and balance your hormones.
- When we don't get enough of it, we can feel depressed, forgetful and lethargic.
- Insufficient sleep can increase your risk of suffering from high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
- Not getting enough sleep can also increase the rate at which your skin ages because it is less able to recover from free radical damage caused by the sun and environmental toxins. That's because while you are sleeping our body secretes growth hormones that stimulate cellular repair along with the production of collagen and new skin cells.
So just as you sometimes reset your digestive system with a detox, we recommend you can take some simple steps to clean up your sleep routine to prepare you for bed can help you enjoy deep restorative sleep and reap the benefits it delivers to your brain, body and beauty.
Take a warm bath with chamomile, jasmine or lavender essential oils
Take a warm bath with chamomile, jasmine or lavender oils. These oils have calming properties that will help you unwind, reduce stress and soothe your mood, set you up for a state of relaxation.
Make a bedtime brew
This could be a cup of herbal tea such as chamomile, valerian or another sleepy tea blend. Or you could try a glass of warm milk with a touch of nutmeg. Warm milk contains L-tryptophan, an amino acid that's a precursor to serotonin and melatonin, which both induce sleep. Add a teaspoon of The Beauty Chef's SLEEP Inner Beauty Powder which contains lemon balm and passionflower, traditionally used in western herbal medicine to promote a good night's sleep, relieve nervousness and restlessness and you will be on your way to sweet dreams.
Stretching out your tired and tight muscles can help soften the body and prepare it for sleep. If you sit for long periods in front of a computer, your neck, shoulders, lower back and hip flexors are all likely to be tight. Studies have shown that gentle yoga or stretching about an hour before bed can result in better quality sleep.
Soothe your senses
Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark. Dim your lights at least an hour before bed. Light a calming candle or stick of incense, turn down your covers and tidy or declutter your room so it feels like a relaxing place to retreat to.
Develop a routine
Rest, restore and repeat...Going to bed and rising at the same time everyday - even on weekends will help restore your circadian rhythm to a regular pattern. Studies have shown that people who do a daily workout sleep better than those who don't.